The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is one of the most anticipated publications of the year and it seems as though the annual special getting more and more popular as time goes on. Obviously some of that has to do with the fact that Kate Upton made a triumphant return to SI Swimsuit, but also some of that has to do with the new and different models they used. In addition to the classic-type of models one might be used to seeing in SI Swimsuit, last year they put the curvy, plus-sized model Ashley Graham on one edition of the cover. That move was met with some criticism but more applause.
Rather than shy away from the controversy, SI seems to be doubling down on the removing barriers for entry and opening up the doors (a little bit) to allow more beautiful women the opportunity to find their way into the pages of Sports Illustrated. This year they’re moving forward with #SISwimSearch, which is essentially a social competition to let fans vote on which of 15 finalists should enter into the hallowed pages of SI Swim.
Check out nine of the 15 #SISwimsSearch contestants below, then click the thumbnails for more photos.